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Tuesday, July 22, 2014
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Published: Sunday, 1/23/2005

Explaining Carty to a Finkbeiner

Dear Roberta,

My name is Bill Finkbeiner. I recently subscribed to a rather neat service from Google where they send me e-mails whenever the word Finkbeiner is found somewhere on the Internet. So today I was sent your [Tuesday] column and read it with interest, particularly the part about Carty Finkbeiner s name becoming an overused phrase.

I have followed Mr. Finkbeiner s career a little bit because I m also in politics. (I am currently the Republican Leader in the Washington State Senate http://www1.leg.wa.gov/senate/finkbeiner.) And, since I have never met another person in the United States outside of my family with the name Finkbeiner, it is always kind of fun to read his name.

Anyway, I was wondering if you could explain to me why his name is overused. It would help clear up my confusion. I can t imagine the name Finkbeiner being overused anywhere.

Sincerely,

Bill Finkbeiner

Dear Senator Finkbeiner,

Why not ask me to explain the Social Security ruckus, or anything else less complex than Carleton S. Finkbeiner?

Truth is, Bill, we Toledoans can t explain him to ourselves, let alone to outsiders. But let me try to give you The Other Finkbeiner, a crash course in Carty 101:

Like you, Carty was once a Republican. Then he was a Democrat. Then an Independent. We haven t heard anything about the Green or Libertarian parties, but anything s possible. For now, he s the leader of the Carty Party.

He ran for the Congress (lost), city council (won), and the mayor s office (won). Term limits ushered him out of mayoral chambers, but we now wonder: If you take Carty outta city hall, can you take city hall outta Carty?

Many tongues wag about his desire to become Mayor Redux. He d have to face the incumbent Democrat, a slumbering bruin whose hibernation cycle, sadly, seems to have coincided with his term of office.

Voters noticed; it s why many now long wistfully for the Carty days. See, Carty is a whirlwind always in motion, and folks mistake that for accomplishment.

Also, as people here are fond of reminding one another, Carty s the biggest cheerleader this city ever had, which sounds swell until you realize how this can also be the express route to a state of delusion. ( Ve haff no faults! ) Personally, I always thought Carty s type of rah-rah, yell leader persona made him less a mayor than a mascot, but I m picky about letting things like bombast substitute for leadership.

Anyway, senator, I hope you re getting the idea that Carty (he s like our Cher, since we never use anything but his first name) is a wildly popular form of Toledo entertainment. We love him/hate him in equal measure, and can t wait/can t bear for him to run again for mayor.

But, hey. It s a Toledo thing. You might not understand.



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